NEA Big Read | One Book One Valley Selected Title


Eagle County to read and celebrate
“Lab Girl” by Author & Scientist Hope Jahren
as One Book One Valley celebrates year 10 in 2020-2021

Vail Public Library is a recipient of a grant of $9,150 to host the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read in Eagle County. An arts endowment initiative in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens how the community understands the world, different communities and fellow humans through the joy of sharing a good book.

Vail Public Library is one of 84 nonprofit organizations selected to receive an NEA Big Read grant to support a community reading program between October 2020 and June 2021. The NEA Big Read in Eagle County will focus on “Lab Girl” by Hope Jahren. Activities will take place as part of the county’s One Book One Valley community reading initiative celebrating its 10th year in 2021.

“We have become even more aware this year of the important ways the arts help us connect with others, and how they bring meaning, joy and comfort to our lives,” said Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts in a news release. “By bringing the NEA Big Read to Eagle County, Colorado, Vail Public Library will provide thoughtful and fun programming while also strengthening community bonds.”

“We are thrilled to have been awarded this NEA Big Read Grant, especially during these challenging times,” said Lori A. Barnes, Vail Public Library’s director of Library Services. “Community reads inspire conversation, promote literacy and community, and bring readers and writers together through civic discourse and intellectual discussion. OBOV supports thought-provoking ideas and conversation among diverse populations within the community,”

Since 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,600 NEA Big Read programs, providing more than $22 million to organizations nationwide. Over the past 13 years, grantees have leveraged more than $50 million in local funding to support NEA Big Read programs. More than 5.7 million Americans have attended an NEA Big Read event, approximately 91,000 volunteers have participated at the local level, and 39,000 community organizations have partnered to make NEA Big Read activities possible. For more information about the NEA Big Read, including book and author information, podcasts and videos, visit


to start this 6 month journey

Monday October 19, 2020 | 6 p.m.
Zoom Meeting ID# 829 6973 3201
Need help with Zoom? Email

“Lab Girl” By Hope Jahren

Acclaimed scientist Hope Jahren has built three laboratories in which she’s studied trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Her first book is a revelatory treatise on plant life—but it is also so much more.

Lab Girl
 is a book about work, love, and the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It is told through Jahren’s stories: about her childhood in rural Minnesota with an uncompromising mother and a father who encouraged hours of play in his classroom’s labs; about how she found a sanctuary in science, and learned to perform lab work done “with both the heart and the hands”; and about the inevitable disappointments, but also the triumphs and exhilarating discoveries, of scientific work.

Yet at the core of this book is the story of a relationship Jahren forged with a brilliant, wounded man named Bill, who becomes her lab partner and best friend. Their sometimes rogue adventures in science take them from the Midwest across the United States and back again, over the Atlantic to the ever-light skies of the North Pole and to tropical Hawaii, where she and her lab currently make their home.

About the Author

Hope Jahren is an award-winning scientist who has been pursuing independent research in paleobiology since 1996, when she completed her PhD at University of California Berkeley and began teaching and researching first at the Georgia Institute of Technology and then at Johns Hopkins University. She is the recipient of three Fulbright Awards and is one of four scientists, and the only woman, to have been awarded both of the Young Investigator Medals given within the Earth Sciences. She was a tenured professor at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu from 2008 to 2016, where she built the Isotope Geobiology Laboratories, with support from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health. She currently holds the J. Tuzo Wilson professorship at the University of Oslo, Norway.

One Book One Valley 2020

For the 9th year, VPL, The Bookworm of Edwards, Colorado Mountain College, Vail Mountain School and Eagle County Schools ARE hosting a valley-wide book club known as One Book One Valley. Everyone in Eagle County can participate by reading this year’s book, sharing perspectives, attending monthly programs and building a stronger community. Participants can even engage on social media with the following hashtag: #onebookonevalley2020

The One Book One Valley title for 2020 is . . . I am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughterby Erika L. Sánchez. Come check out a copy from VPL and Join us! for all the fun of One Book One Valley! 

One Book One Valley Announces 2019 Book

Lori Barnes, Director of Library Services of Vail Public Library, explains the mission of a local organization known as One Book One Valley as “looking at our community through the lens of reading and considering how we can bring the joy of reading into local businesses, agencies and organizations.”

This group of readers is taking the valley by storm as it strives to unite an entire community through literature. Barnes is the founder of OBOV and has brought authors including, Lin Enger, Ben Winters and Craig Johnson to the valley.

Last week at The Bookworm of Edwards, “Last of the Menu Girls” by Denise Chavez was announced as the OBOV book.

“I am thrilled to be selected as the 2019 OBOV author,” Chavez said. “I love the state of Colorado. … I spent time … exploring and coming to love the landscape, the people, the history, the true magic that is the beautiful energy of this spirit-filled place. … I am deeply honored as well to be a multicultural representative for my Mexican-American ancestors in a time of challenge that continues to show us we are all one people.”

2018 One Book One Valley is here!

Join us for a community read of Ben Winter’s Underground Airlines!

Click HERE for One Book One Valley Events!

One Book One Valley launches Jan. 31

On Wednesday, Jan. 31, the Eagle Valley will pull back the cover on a book that will be the region’s latest One Book One Valley read.

The annual program features one book each winter, surrounded by special events, discussions and a visit from the author to close out the program. The title isn’t revealed until the kickoff event, but Vail town librarian and program organizer Lori Ann Barnes said this year’s read will differ from past selections, which have included everything from historical Western themes to murder mysteries. Without revealing the title, she gave several clues to the 2018 selection.

“This year’s title falls under the genre of ‘alternative history.’ It takes place in the present day, and it’s suspenseful — we’ll leave it at that for people to guess,” she said.

At the kickoff event, organizers will celebrate the seventh year of the One Book One Valley program. Officials from all the town councils and Eagle County will read a proclamation ushering in the start of the program and readers will hear details on the awaited title.

“This year’s book is especially exciting because of its social relevance and its genre,” said Nicole Magistro, of The Bookworm of Edwards. “I think we will see a lot of new readers come to — and enjoy — this book. It’s a page-turner that generates discussion.”

to read the complete article, click here!

Previous One Book One Valley programming, events, and coverage


Interview with Lin Enger on KZYR, February 27

Reading of the One Book One Valley Proclamation in Red Cliff on February 21st


Latest One Book One Valley interview on TV8 with Lori Barnes

Book TV: Panel Discussion, “The Journey of a Book” with Lin Enger

Book review: ‘The High Divide,’ by Lin Enger, 2017 One Book One Valley selection: February 11, 2017

Vail’s Town Librarian and founder of the One Book One Valley initiative, Lori A. Barnes commented “One Book One Valley is my baby, it’s one of my pet projects, It’s something that occurred to me when I was having envy 6 1/2 years ago: How come Denver gets to do this? And Steamboat? I didn’t want to do it with just Vail; Eagle Valley is a small community, relatively speaking, so we figured we would do it up big.”

One Book One Valley 2017 Kick-off Date announced here!

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